Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's

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9780471189527: Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's
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Written in 1931, this new installment in the Wiley Investment Classics series offers a well-written historical and anecdotal account of the volatile stock market of the 1920s. It traces the rise of post World War I prosperity up to the crash of 1929 before a colorful backdrop that includes Al Capone, Prohibition, the first radio, and the rise and fall of the skirt length.

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From the Publisher:

Originally published in 1931, soon after the era ended, this preprinted edition is still considered a classical account of the 1920s. Beginning with the end of World War I (November 11, 1918) on through to the stock market crash on November 12, 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, the author provides a well-written history of the times. Some of the events of the day included are: Al Capone and Prohibition, scandals surrounding then president Harding, growth of the automobile industry, the first radio, and the "scandalous" rise of skirt hemlines.

From the Back Cover:

Only Yesterday

Hailed as a classic even when it was first published in 1931,Only Yesterday remains one of the most vivid and precise accountsof the volatile stock market and the heady boom years of the1920's. A vibrant social history that is unparalleled in scope andaccuracy, it artfully depicts the rise of post - World War Iprosperity, the catalytic incidents that led to the Crash of 1929,and the devastating economic decline that ensued—all setbefore a colorful backdrop of flappers, Al Capone, the first radio,and the "scandalous" rise of skirt hemlines. Now, this mesmerizingchronicle is reintroduced to offer readers of today anunforgettable look at one of the most dynamic periods of America'spast.

With a novelist's eye for detail and a historian's attention tothe facts, Frederick Lewis Allen tells a story that will igniteyour imagination as its rich pageant of characters and events comesalive. Peppering his narrative with actual stock quotes andfinancial news, Allen tracks the major economic trends of thedecade and explores the underlying causes of the Crash. Here arefresh accounts of Harding's oil scandals and the growth of theautomobile industry, as well as the decline of the family farm, theCoolidge prosperity, and the long bull market of the late twenties.Allen's virtual hour-by-hour account of the Crash itself, told frommultiple perspectives with mounting suspense, is as gripping asanything you are likely to read in fiction.

In addition to his power as a storyteller, Allen was a livingwitness to the events he describes; there is a thrillingyou-are-there feeling about the unfolding history. After a brief"return to normalcy" following the War, the pace of life in Americaquickly escalated to a full gallop. New forces were beingunleashed: prosperity with serious inflation, larger-than-lifefigures such as J. Pierpont Morgan and Henry Ford, and the Big RedScare of the early twenties. Allen documents the new inventions,fads, and scandals as they affected the daily life of the country,including the impact of Freud and Einstein, Prohibition and AlCapone, Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, the trial of Sacco andVanzetti, and the shocking changes in manners and morals. In OnlyYesterday we hear America talking to itself from coast to coast,furiously debating its own rapidly evolving destiny.

An engaging narrative that describes the harried, oftentumultuous events of Wall Street in the twenties, as well as theinfectious spirit of the times, Only Yesterday is not only acompelling account of years gone by, but a true classic that willbe appreciated for years to come.

"When this fascinating social history of America in the 1920'swas first published in 1931, the twenties were indeed OnlyYesterday. But, as Mr. Allen makes clear, they were so much morethan the clich— would have it. . . . Frederick Allen'smarvelous book brings back an exciting time in the life of thenation. I am quite sure you will enjoy reading it as much as Mr.Allen and I enjoyed living it." —from the Foreword by Roy R.Neuberger.

Recognized as a classic even when it was first published in1931, Only Yesterday is a fascinating and revealing chronicle ofthe volatile stock market and heady boom years of the 1920's.Written by an esteemed historian who witnessed firsthand theexplosive atmosphere and events of the time, this compellingnarrative takes its place as one of the most important andinvaluable contributions to investment literature.

Acclaim for Only Yesterday

"Marvelously absorbing . . . Only Yesterday tells the story ofthe 1920's from the collapse of Wilson and the New Freedom to thecollapse of Wall Street and the New Era." —Stuart Chase,Books.

"A perfectly grand piece of historical record and syntheticjournalism." —Fanny Butcher, Chicago Tribune.

"A style that is verve itself . . . Besides telling the story ofthe bull market in fine perspective, Mr. Allen presents the firstcoherent account that we have seen of the oil scandals that willeventually make the Harding regime match that of President Grantand the Crédit Mobilier story in the history books of thefuture." —John Chamberlain, The New York Times.

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9780060956653: Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s

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